- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to the public for donations to help homeless and struggling veterans during the pandemic.

There are approximately 37,000 veterans nationwide with more than 22,000 living in temporary shelters and 14,000 in uninhabitable places, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest data.

“VA is working tirelessly to address the urgent needs of Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and with the help of the community — even more can be done,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement Monday.

“These donations can make a critical difference in the department’s ability to protect and serve vulnerable Veterans during this public health emergency. VA is thankful for the donations already received for our nation’s heroes during this unprecedented time.”

The department said that essential items can be donated including “non-perishables to combat food insecurity and new mobile phones to enable veterans to access VA telehealth services,” through local Voluntary Service Offices.

Monetary donations will also be accepted through the VA’s website and will go towards helping veterans pay security deposits for housing to avoid homelessness.

Veterans advocacy groups and service organizations have cautioned that homelessness among veterans will likely rise during the pandemic.

The VA has reported 12,242 cases of COVID-19 among its patients as of Monday, and 1,012 deaths.

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